Creating a Diversity & Inclusion Statement
BCLC is committed to making diversity and inclusion a priority and see great benefit in working with other business leaders in our province on this important initiative. They recognize that the thinking, ideas, insights and perspectives of a diverse group of employees are a key element to success. The board and executive team created a diversity and inclusion statement to demonstrate their commitment and wanted to share their approach with other employers.
In creating this statement of commitment around diversity and inclusion in the workplace, BCLC aimed to:
- Have a clear vision for what a diverse, inclusive workplace would look like.
- Ensure organizational alignment on what the commitment to diversity and inclusion would be.
- Create an understanding of the roadmap to being a more diverse and inclusive organization.
BCLC was keen to ensure they approached creating a diversity and inclusion statement of commitment in a way that would see the best results and engagement. The process they undertook is detailed below:
- Determined that diversity and inclusion is a priority for BCLC by engaging with various members of the board and executive team to achieve buy-in.
- Worked with a consultant to provide support on the process and facilitate a strategic session.
- Created a commitment statement that tied back to BCLC’s four strategic pillars of People, Player, Public and Profit.
- Identified initiatives that the organization would spearhead as a result of this statement.
- Rolled out the plan to their employees.
Making Diversity and Inclusion a Priority
Before agreeing to create a statement of commitment to diversity and inclusion, BCLC wanted to affirm diversity as an organizational priority. The board was very engaged in these discussions, as was BCLC’s executive team. Through these conversations it was determined that diversity and inclusion was, and would continue to be, a priority for BCLC. This was an important step in achieving buy-in from the senior leaders within the organization.
Working with a Consultant
Working with a consultant, BCLC executive and board members were able to determine what their commitment to diversity and inclusion would look like. By working with a third-party, it allowed for objective facilitation and full participation for all members of the board and executive team. The consultant was also able to bring the marketplace insights to the leadership discussion on diversity and inclusion. BCLC chose their consultant by having conversations with people they had worked with before, and asking them about how they would approach this work. They wanted to make sure that the consultant they chose was aligned with their vision and values.
The consultant they chose conducted a one-day immersive experience for the executive. To prepare for this, they researched current trends in diversity and inclusion, spoke to the executive and board chair – and collated this information to suggest where BCLC might want to focus. They suggested that BCLC focus on four pillars: Inclusive Leadership, Employee Value Proposition, Bias-Free Processes and Community Engagement. Through this immersive process, BCLC created a commitment statement that links to their organizational values and culture.
After creating the commitment statement, the next step was to identify what initiatives would take place. To demonstrate the organization’s commitment, BCLC’s CEO assigned Vice Presidents in pairs to be responsible for one the four pillars of the organization’s strategic diversity and inclusion roadmap.
Rolling Out the Plan to Employees
BCLC rolled this out to their employees through a number of channels. They posted the statement on their internal site – YAK. The VPs will share updates on the four pillars during town halls, and the CEO will share progress with employees through his all staff communications. BCLC recognizes the importance of all staff being aware of this, and buying into it – to truly embed it as a company statement.
BCLC has communicated its Diversity & Inclusion commitment statement and roadmap through the organization, from Senior Leaders to front line employees. They are embarking on discussions about why diversity and inclusion is important to the organization, and providing clarity on the direction of this priority and next steps. They have found that by creating a commitment statement, there is a clear and purposeful focus upon being diverse and inclusive.
Throughout this process, BCLC learned a great deal. Some of these learnings are detailed below.
- Clearly articulate why diversity and inclusion is important to the organization and what does it mean for their employees.
- Alignment of BCLC’s commitment to diversity and inclusion with their board and executive team.
- Continue to communicate BCLC’s diversity and inclusion roadmap in multiple ways.
- Executive oversight of key initiatives is important to driving the diversity and inclusive agenda.
- Prioritize diversity and inclusive initiatives through a well thought-out roadmap.
Involving Board Members
It was essential to the success of any diversity and inclusion strategy that board members were able to contribute their own experiences to the process. BCLC believes that their commitment statement greatly benefited from the various points of view offered by members of the board. Annually, BCLC has committed to updating their board on the progress they are making in diversity and inclusion.
Being Inclusive in Communications
A key part of the success of this initiative, especially after the creation of the commitment statement, is to keep key people informed. BCLC found that it was important to share relevant information with the organization, be inclusive in their communication by appealing to the whole organization, and keep key leaders informed and engaged along the way.
BCLC is sharing information within their organization and determining what is next on its road map for their diversity and inclusion journey. They continue to keep top of mind, why this is important for the organization. They are looking forward to piloting some new initiatives as a result of this commitment statement and raising awareness about diversity and inclusion within and outside their organization.